BTC win­ner sim­ply glow­ing

Cos­mic prac­tice, over- the- moon day for Chicago’s Brown

Chicago Sun-Times - - BEAT THE CHAMPIONS - DALE BOW­MAN Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Bow­manOut­side.

Wil­helmina Brown lit up Lan- Oak Lanes in Lans­ing.

‘‘ Fri­day night I came in [ to prac­tice], and they had cos­mic bowl­ing, so I was bowl­ing in the dark,’’ said Brown, an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant for Good­will In­dus­tries.

On Sun­day, the 59- year- old Chicagoan saw her way to con­sis­tent games — 216- 207279- 204 — to go with 79 pins of hand­i­cap for a 985 to win the women’s fi­nals of the 55th Beat the Cham­pi­ons.

Deborah Har­grave fin­ished se­cond with 952, which in­cluded 86 pins of hand­i­cap.

Brown took con­trol in the third game. She opened with the front eight be­fore leav­ing the 7- pin on the ninth ball.

‘‘ I think I was a lit­tle slow with it,’’ she said. ‘‘ But the re­lief was mak­ing the spare. Then I went back and stayed ag­gres­sive with my shot.

‘‘ I wasn’t even think­ing about the car. Iwas just think­ing it would be nice to roll 300 in Beat the Champs.’’

All 32 fi­nal­ists re­ceive prizes. The top prize for both the women and the men ( whose fi­nals are at Elk Grove Bowl next Sun­day) is a Ford Fo­cus from the Chicagoland Ford Deal­ers.

Har­grave, a ser­vice man­ager from Park For­est, found a con­sis­tent shot.

‘‘ The last pair, I changed balls, just try­ing to carry the 10- pin,’’ she said.

Said Brown: ‘‘ The shot all day was con­sis­tent. I didn’t move at all. Out of four games, I think I had four opens all day.’’

One open was the 10- pin on the fi­nal ball, leav­ing some worry for Brown.

‘‘ The rea­son I was [ wor­ried] is be­cause I ad­mire Erica Mer­ritt,’’ Brown said. ‘‘ The only ad­van­tage I had over her was I had some cap and she didn’t it.’’

Mer­ritt, who fin­ished third with 937, only had 10 pins of hand­i­cap.

In BTC, bowlers who av­er­age below 210 re­ceive 90 per­cent of the dif­fer­ence as hand­i­cap.

This was a rau­cous crowd, es­pe­cially sup­port­ing Brown.

‘‘ My hus­band [ Don­ald Pow­ell] must have called ev­ery­body in the city,’’ she said.

BTC, cospon­sored by the Sun- Times and the Chicagoland Bowl­ing Pro­pri­etors As­so­ci­a­tion, has raised more than $ 2.7 mil­lion from more than 5.7 mil­lion en­tries in its first 54 years. Speak­ing of money, Brown earned $ 500 for her league — Le­veaux Crock­ett on Wed­nes­days at Sky­way Bowl — be­cause it has 100 per­cent par­tic­i­pa­tion in BTC.

NOTES: Ex­pe­ri­ence mat­tered for the four women who pre­vi­ously bowled in the BTC women’s fi­nals. Erica Mer­ritt’s third- place fin­ish came in her se­cond BTC.

‘‘ I just watched my speed — I didn’t want to over­power it,’’ said Mer­ritt, a mar­ket­ing man­ager for the World’s Finest Choco­late.

Christina Daniello, who fin­ished 15th last year, tied for eighth ( 872) with Ear­lean Henry. Other re­peat fi­nal­ists were Genevieve Sch­wabe ( fifth) and Tracy Wood­ward-Sch­wind ( 13th).

Sheila Bar­ney- Shan­non brought quart con­tain­ers stuffed with but­ter pecan cook­ies for all the fi­nal­ists as a good­will ges­ture and clever mar­ket­ing for 26.2 Realty. She fin­ished 29th ( 750).

Mag­gie Su­choski, who wore her St. Am­brose sweater — she was a bowler and a dou­ble- ma­jor in phi­los­o­phy and physics there — was the only scratch bowler. She fin­ished 11th ( 854)

Only 334 women ‘‘ Beat the Champ’’ dur­ing con­test week in De­cem­ber, top­ping the 689 that Dian­dra As­baty rolled for the tar­get score. Their com­mem­o­ra­tive pens will be sent shortly.


Wil­helmina Brown and hus­band Don­ald Pow­ell cel­e­brate in front of Brown’s new Ford Fo­cus af­ter her 985 gave her first place in the BTC­women’s fi­nals Sun­day at Lan- Oak Lanes in Lans­ing.

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